Jump to content

Welcome to Autoworld Forum !

Sign In or Register to gain full access to our forums. By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

Close
Photo

Infinitum Battery Desulfator Review


  • Please log in to reply

#11
vr2turbo

Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:19 AM

vr2turbo

    Forum Ninja

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 69,742 posts
  • Gender:Male
QUOTE (cendana287 @ May 26 2014, 09:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're right about charge and discharge - this is another very critical factor that will decide on the battery's lifespan. Often, we tend to just focus on the battery itself. But have to also remember that it is just "one part" of the car's electrical system, albeit a very important one. One component that we often don't give too much thought to is the alternator... until something happens. Maybe it would be a good idea to have the alternator serviced every three years or so, even when "it seems to be working okay"? I'm trying to find a workshop or specialist who can do this - take off the alternator, open it up, clean and replace components as he sees fit. Like the bearings and whatever else. I wonder how much it would cost? Nowadays, most mechanics aren't as skilled and knowledgeable as the old school type. They tend to be the "Plug and Play" kind who only know how to take off a part and replace it with a new one. The old school mechanics would service and replace the components that are faulty, not the whole unit.

Yes and no on the mechanic and alternator. Yes, in a way, especially in Service centers, they are trained to replace and nor repair. Outside mechanic would try to repair first before replace but then depends on what part again.
As for the alternator, olden type running on carbon which can be replaced. Nowadays many running on diodes and capacitors. I had my Honda one broke down many years ago, and when my mechanic open up, the problem was the diodes melted and is sealed, so no choice have to replace. In fact nowadays he say cannot repair unless send to those people who can recondition them, but also cannot last.... smile_blackeye.gif

#12
vr2turbo

Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:26 AM

vr2turbo

    Forum Ninja

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 69,742 posts
  • Gender:Male
QUOTE (jamespaul @ May 26 2014, 09:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Most honda's battery can last less than 2 years.

my dad's honda accord 1 year plus a bit. (changed 5 times already)

my honda city 1.5 years. (changed 3 times)

cheap battery? unlikely as i bought a japanese made one but still died an early death.

design flaw? almost certain.

btw, i usually switch off aircon, lights after driving.

Same here brother. All my car batteries last from 18-24 months only. Yup, heat is also one other factor, so I will be trying to DIY some heat shield and see if it helps. Anyway, battery manufacturers also give one year warranty only. I tried a Century Ultramax once which gives 21 months warranty. Paid slightly more for it, but it konk after 18 months, so claimed a new one. In a way was worth paying slightly more as if I bought the normal 12 months warranty one I would have to buy another.....lol

#13
cendana287

Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:40 AM

cendana287

    Driver

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 40 posts
QUOTE (vr2turbo @ May 27 2014, 08:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Same here brother. All my car batteries last from 18-24 months only. Yup, heat is also one other factor, so I will be trying to DIY some heat shield and see if it helps. Anyway, battery manufacturers also give one year warranty only. I tried a Century Ultramax once which gives 21 months warranty. Paid slightly more for it, but it konk after 18 months, so claimed a new one. In a way was worth paying slightly more as if I bought the normal 12 months warranty one I would have to buy another.....lol


Did they give you a new one, or just a used battery so that the 21 months period would be surpassed? If it's the former, then you've gotten yourself a bargain - "almost" two batteries for the price of one:-) I had read from online brochures that a few companies do give more than 2 years of warranty for some of their batteries. Most manufacturers would give at least a a year warranty. But I've also heard of some that offer only six months. Bosch's S4, S5 and S6 batteries have 2-3 years warranty and these have been known to last significantly longer. Especially if it is located under the passenger seat or in the boot. I have a lot of faith with this brand, which is often my first choice when it comes to replacements parts - starter, filters and whatever else. But its batteries are expensive. Well, premium brand comes with premium price I suppose.

Good that you are experimenting with the heat shield. Theoretically it should contribute to something. For practical reason, most manufacturers would place the battery in the engine bay although this is the hottest part of the car (with the possible exception of the exhaust's route). And heat definitely plays a big part when it comes to lifespan. It seems that the `normal' lifespan of most batteries is like yours: 18 to 24 months. Anything above 2 years could be considered as a bonus. But I've gotten spoilt by my last battery, that GP-Atlas DIN 88 which lasted almost 5 years. Now I'm expecting my new battery to last at least 3 years although the warranty is only for 2. Would be really disappointed if it doesn't, especially for its size (DIN 100) and price.

#14
cendana287

Posted 27 May 2014 - 11:50 AM

cendana287

    Driver

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 40 posts
QUOTE (vr2turbo @ May 27 2014, 08:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes and no on the mechanic and alternator. Yes, in a way, especially in Service centers, they are trained to replace and nor repair. Outside mechanic would try to repair first before replace but then depends on what part again.
As for the alternator, olden type running on carbon which can be replaced. Nowadays many running on diodes and capacitors. I had my Honda one broke down many years ago, and when my mechanic open up, the problem was the diodes melted and is sealed, so no choice have to replace. In fact nowadays he say cannot repair unless send to those people who can recondition them, but also cannot last.... smile_blackeye.gif


It's true that the rotor, diode pack and stator of an alternator typically aren't serviceable. But things like the copper brushes, bearings, rectifiers and pulley are. In many cases, the former group is the culprit. Reconditioned/Rebuilt alternators offer a cheaper alternative to getting a new one. But there's a risk here because we don't know the condition of the diode pack and stator. If we are lucky, the rebuilt alternator might last for many years.

A new unit is always better, or course. But it's expensive. I don't know what I'd do should this issue arise with my car: go for a rebuild or a new unit. I've read that an alternator's lifespan is unpredictable. Some cars, regardless of make, would need a new one after 60,000 km. But some others would go to 150,000 km and more. So it's something like a battery too, I suppose - various factors and variables including "luck" play a part.

I'm trying to be proactive by taking steps to prolong its service life. I'm driving a used car (14 years old) since three years ago so I don't know how long the alternator has been on it. Could be the original one which means it's likely at the end of its service life. Or maybe it's a newer unit (I hope so). Fortunately, diagnosing an alternator looks to be easier than with a battery. It would often give signs that you need to check it. Things like unusual noise coming from it, which could be the bearings or pulley. If not enough power is being generated, I believe a warning light should appear on the dashboard.

A multimeter would help provide a clearer picture. With the previous battery, when the engine is at idle, the multimeter showed 13.5V. All accessories switched on, 13.2V. These figures are "OK" but I think they are rather on the low side. With the engine running, it should be a bit above 14V with a very healthy alternator. These are signs that mine isn't at optimum level - only "satisfactory". I haven't checked with the new battery yet. Will do so after a week so that the new battery has been properly charged by the system through normal usage. I hope the reading will be 14V. If it still remains at 13.5V, I'll have to find a specialist to service the alternator the best that he can. It's better to service components "when we want to" rather than wait for something to happen first before we "are forced to":-) It could be at a very inconvenient place and time, and likely to be significantly more expensive than the preventive maintenance taken.

#15
cendana287

Posted 27 May 2014 - 12:14 PM

cendana287

    Driver

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 40 posts
QUOTE (vr2turbo @ May 27 2014, 08:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Same here brother. All my car batteries last from 18-24 months only. Yup, heat is also one other factor, so I will be trying to DIY some heat shield and see if it helps. Anyway, battery manufacturers also give one year warranty only. I tried a Century Ultramax once which gives 21 months warranty. Paid slightly more for it, but it konk after 18 months, so claimed a new one. In a way was worth paying slightly more as if I bought the normal 12 months warranty one I would have to buy another.....lol


Another factor worth mentioning when it comes to battery life: there could be a power drain/leakage somewhere which the car owner isn't aware of. This often happens when aftermarket accessories are added. The power drain might not be very bad else the owner would have noticed. Like the engine feeling reluctant to crank in the morning.

From what I had read, power usage when the car isn't being used should not exceed 0.5A. Or is that 0.05A? Sorry, can't quite remember the exact figure. This is including the alarm and other 24/7 systems working. The owner would only realise the power drain if the car had not been started for 4 days or more. The leakage may be `small' but it adds up over time. The car's electrical and charging system would normally offset (and hide) this kind of leakage when the car is used at least once a day. After 24 hours, the battery would still be strong enough to start the engine and the alternator would do its part in recharging whatever that is lost due to the leakage (plus the power lost during the cranking process). This is why we wouldn't know there's a power drain going on. But "over time", which means months, this leakage does contribute towards the battery's service life.

But there's an easy way to test for possible leakage. There are also YouTube videos that show how to set up the test. All one needs is a multimeter that also tests ampere. Even cheap ones could test up to 10A. This is more than enough to test for leakage. If the multimeter shows anything above 1.0A, something is draining too much power. Which one? This can be tested by pulling out the fuses one by one. When the figure drops, you've found the culprit.

#16
vr2turbo

Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:28 AM

vr2turbo

    Forum Ninja

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 69,742 posts
  • Gender:Male
QUOTE (cendana287 @ May 27 2014, 10:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did they give you a new one, or just a used battery so that the 21 months period would be surpassed? If it's the former, then you've gotten yourself a bargain - "almost" two batteries for the price of one:-) I had read from online brochures that a few companies do give more than 2 years of warranty for some of their batteries. Most manufacturers would give at least a a year warranty. But I've also heard of some that offer only six months. Bosch's S4, S5 and S6 batteries have 2-3 years warranty and these have been known to last significantly longer. Especially if it is located under the passenger seat or in the boot. I have a lot of faith with this brand, which is often my first choice when it comes to replacements parts - starter, filters and whatever else. But its batteries are expensive. Well, premium brand comes with premium price I suppose.

Good that you are experimenting with the heat shield. Theoretically it should contribute to something. For practical reason, most manufacturers would place the battery in the engine bay although this is the hottest part of the car (with the possible exception of the exhaust's route). And heat definitely plays a big part when it comes to lifespan. It seems that the `normal' lifespan of most batteries is like yours: 18 to 24 months. Anything above 2 years could be considered as a bonus. But I've gotten spoilt by my last battery, that GP-Atlas DIN 88 which lasted almost 5 years. Now I'm expecting my new battery to last at least 3 years although the warranty is only for 2. Would be really disappointed if it doesn't, especially for its size (DIN 100) and price.

Yup, they gave me a new one. Usually they will, because how will we determine how old is a used one.
I think Bosch battery with longer warranty is the same as the Ultramax, have to pay a higher price.

As for the heat shield is because when I went to claim the battery, he tried to check the charge. Then he touch the battery and say it was too hot. I studied the location and the radiator fan is very close, so as it sucks in the air it hits the battery first and continuous radiator fan heat can really heat the battery up.

#17
vr2turbo

Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:35 AM

vr2turbo

    Forum Ninja

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 69,742 posts
  • Gender:Male
QUOTE (cendana287 @ May 27 2014, 11:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's true that the rotor, diode pack and stator of an alternator typically aren't serviceable. But things like the copper brushes, bearings, rectifiers and pulley are. In many cases, the former group is the culprit. Reconditioned/Rebuilt alternators offer a cheaper alternative to getting a new one. But there's a risk here because we don't know the condition of the diode pack and stator. If we are lucky, the rebuilt alternator might last for many years.

A new unit is always better, or course. But it's expensive. I don't know what I'd do should this issue arise with my car: go for a rebuild or a new unit. I've read that an alternator's lifespan is unpredictable. Some cars, regardless of make, would need a new one after 60,000 km. But some others would go to 150,000 km and more. So it's something like a battery too, I suppose - various factors and variables including "luck" play a part.

I'm trying to be proactive by taking steps to prolong its service life. I'm driving a used car (14 years old) since three years ago so I don't know how long the alternator has been on it. Could be the original one which means it's likely at the end of its service life. Or maybe it's a newer unit (I hope so). Fortunately, diagnosing an alternator looks to be easier than with a battery. It would often give signs that you need to check it. Things like unusual noise coming from it, which could be the bearings or pulley. If not enough power is being generated, I believe a warning light should appear on the dashboard.

A multimeter would help provide a clearer picture. With the previous battery, when the engine is at idle, the multimeter showed 13.5V. All accessories switched on, 13.2V. These figures are "OK" but I think they are rather on the low side. With the engine running, it should be a bit above 14V with a very healthy alternator. These are signs that mine isn't at optimum level - only "satisfactory". I haven't checked with the new battery yet. Will do so after a week so that the new battery has been properly charged by the system through normal usage. I hope the reading will be 14V. If it still remains at 13.5V, I'll have to find a specialist to service the alternator the best that he can. It's better to service components "when we want to" rather than wait for something to happen first before we "are forced to":-) It could be at a very inconvenient place and time, and likely to be significantly more expensive than the preventive maintenance taken.

The problem when my alternator died, it did not give out any noise. Still run smoothly. Just no more charge. The preventive measure you mention is just like the chicken and egg story on air con service and maintenance. Some say to service yearly so air con can last longer, but then the service nowadays is not cheap. Some will say even without service can last quite a few years, so all the service money spent yearly can also be used to pay for the repairs..... smile_tongue.gif

Coming to the price issue. Yes, Original alternators nowadays cost a bomb and seems there is no warranty on this item too even for original units. My friend change a recon unit about a year ago and it died already. Paid about RM200 for it. So decided to try an original unit and cost him RM700 plus.... smile_shock.gif

#18
cendana287

Posted 28 May 2014 - 10:34 AM

cendana287

    Driver

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 40 posts
QUOTE (vr2turbo @ May 28 2014, 08:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The problem when my alternator died, it did not give out any noise. Still run smoothly. Just no more charge. The preventive measure you mention is just like the chicken and egg story on air con service and maintenance. Some say to service yearly so air con can last longer, but then the service nowadays is not cheap. Some will say even without service can last quite a few years, so all the service money spent yearly can also be used to pay for the repairs..... smile_tongue.gif

Coming to the price issue. Yes, Original alternators nowadays cost a bomb and seems there is no warranty on this item too even for original units. My friend change a recon unit about a year ago and it died already. Paid about RM200 for it. So decided to try an original unit and cost him RM700 plus.... smile_shock.gif


Yeah, you do have a very valid point about this being a sort of chicken and egg story. It's true about the aircond system. I've heard of people recommending servicing once a year. Some insist at 6 months. But even without servicing, a good aircond system would still tend to last for a few years before any significant part needs to be replaced. Just needs topping up the refrigerant, especially when we often get stuck in traffic congestion and the temperature would rise. Parts would fail eventually, servicing or not. But having said that, there are aspects which we could do something about ourselves (DIY), like checking on the condition of the cabin and pollen filters. Once a year should be often enough. When clogged with leaves, dust and dirt, these filters would force the blower's fan to work harder. If one has to put the blower at the highest point, it could be because of a clogged filter. Or when the aircond air smells musty (the pollen filter/s is probably damp and may even contain harmful bacteria).

Coming back to the alternator - maybe I should just leave well enough alone. For the time being, I'll just check the voltage of the battery: if it's at 13.5V-14.9V with the engine running, that means the alternator is doing its job (not too little nor too much charge, which means the voltage regulator is still okay). Your friend's RM700 alternator - sounds like a 120 Ampere here(?) I've also been thinking about the replacement, when the time does come. I don't think a potong unit would be a good idea. It will depend a lot on luck because we don't know its exact condition. It might just last for a few months. Or a few years if lucky.

Reconditioned/Rebuilt: I've read that there are different grades. The highest is "fully rebuilt" where the critical components have been replaced, and only the casing (repainted and looks shiny like new) and maybe screws are the original. Then "partly rebuilt"... "serviced". We don't really know which is which and have to take the seller's word for it. Maybe it's better to just bite the bullet and buy a new one where everything is really new. It might be more expensive but this is a critical component in the car. I've heard that a new unit should last 5-7 years. So maybe it will turn out to be cheaper over the longer term than buying recond ones.

#19
cendana287

Posted 28 May 2014 - 10:51 AM

cendana287

    Driver

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 40 posts
QUOTE (vr2turbo @ May 28 2014, 08:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yup, they gave me a new one. Usually they will, because how will we determine how old is a used one.
I think Bosch battery with longer warranty is the same as the Ultramax, have to pay a higher price.

As for the heat shield is because when I went to claim the battery, he tried to check the charge. Then he touch the battery and say it was too hot. I studied the location and the radiator fan is very close, so as it sucks in the air it hits the battery first and continuous radiator fan heat can really heat the battery up.


You are indeed one fortunate guy, getting a whole new battery despite the old one expiring so close to the warranty date:-) Many/Most other shops would enforce the "pro-rata" escape clause i.e. refunding you based on the number of months left. For example, a RM250 battery with a 24 months warranty: RM10.40 for each month. So, if it dies out after 22 months, you will get a RM20.80 refund or discount on the replacement battery. Your warranty is way better - a totally new battery!

Your heat shield experiment is very interesting. I believe the battery will last longer this time, all else being equal. Please keep us informed on the developments.

#20
vr2turbo

Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:16 AM

vr2turbo

    Forum Ninja

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 69,742 posts
  • Gender:Male
QUOTE (cendana287 @ May 28 2014, 10:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You are indeed one fortunate guy, getting a whole new battery despite the old one expiring so close to the warranty date:-) Many/Most other shops would enforce the "pro-rata" escape clause i.e. refunding you based on the number of months left. For example, a RM250 battery with a 24 months warranty: RM10.40 for each month. So, if it dies out after 22 months, you will get a RM20.80 refund or discount on the replacement battery. Your warranty is way better - a totally new battery!

Your heat shield experiment is very interesting. I believe the battery will last longer this time, all else being equal. Please keep us informed on the developments.

Yah! I read some of the warranty clauses in some battery website, and pro-rata was mentioned. Not sure, but so far claimed twice only. One was this recent case concerning Century battery. I claimed once more some years ago, when bought this battery from my mechanic. This case even more lucky. The battery fail when I send my car for servicing, means after service done the battery not enough juice to crank. Checking his file, the battery warranty is due in like 1 week. He made a claim on it and I got a new battery.....ha! ha!